Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Sharon D. Loury

Committee Members

Masoud Ghaffari, Judith Rice, Felipe Fiuza de Oliveira


North Carolina has, in recent decades, experienced significant growth in its Latinx, and more particularly Mexican immigrant population. As a traditionally non-Latinx state, or a state without a long-standing, large Latinx population, many communities and healthcare and service providers within North Carolina still lack knowledge, resources, and skills needed to serve and support Latinx immigrant populations well. Guided by interpretive description, this qualitative study on Mexican immigrant women in Western North Carolina sought to gain knowledge and understanding of what it is like for them to live in a traditionally non-Latinx region and how immigration has affected their well-being. Asking about experiences in the context of immigration as a way of learning about well-being was inspired by scholars who have asserted immigration to be an important determinant of health and well-being and significant life experience. Individual interviews with 12 Mexican immigrant women generated five themes: 1) Difference and Disruption, 2) Losing to Gain, 3) Living with Risks and Limitations, 4) From Lost to Found, and 5) Resilience and Adaptation. Together these themes highlight sacrifices and struggles, strengths and resources, and gains and hope that have affected these women’s well-being and paint an overall picture of resilience and adaptation in spite of losses, difficulties, risks, and limitations incurred by immigrating. These findings argue for use of a strengths-based approach when interacting with Mexican immigrant women to improve healthcare and other services and promote their well-being and integration in their NC communities.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

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